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How to Remove Acrylic Nails

Updated on September 17, 2015

How to Remove Acrylic Nails

Want to know how to remove acrylic nails? Acrylic nails add beauty to hands. They literally can make a person’s hands appear spectacular and very feminine. Acrylic nails come in different lengths, colors and even unusual tip shapes; thus, making them a popular product. The only downside to acrylic nails is that they can be troublesome to remove. You can remove the acrylic nails yourself; however, it is best to have a salon do it if you have the monetary funds to pay for the service. The nail is delicate and the surrounding tissue, such as the cuticle, is just as well. If you don’t have the funds to have a salon do it for you then you can do it yourself; however, you must be very careful and exercise extreme caution when doing so. Here’s how to remove acrylic nails the proper way at home.

Image courtesy of kga245/ How to Remove Acrylic Nails
Image courtesy of kga245/ How to Remove Acrylic Nails


Lay several sheets of old newspaper down on a table to prevent damage to furniture or other household items. If you have any food products on the table then remove them and place them away from your work area. If you have an old plastic table cloth or something similar then place it down over your work area also. The plastic will protect the table’s surface from chemical damage. Acetone may remove the varnish to a wooden table.

Other items that you will need are a bottle of 100 percent acetone. Insure that you use 100 percent acetone because weaker versions may make the task of removing acrylic nails much more difficult. You will also need a jar of Vaseline to protect your fingers, nail clippers, old tooth brush, a few cotton balls and an old or disposable dish. After you are done with the dish, do not use it for use with food products in the future if it is made from plastic. Plastic has been shown to absorb chemicals and make be difficult for removal.

Fill the dish enough where you will be able to submerge your entire fingernails easily. Take the nail clippers and cut the acrylic nails down to as close as you can to the natural nails. Take a cotton ball and dip it into the Vaseline. Smear the Vaseline onto your actual fingers while avoiding the acrylic nails. The purpose of the Vaseline is to coat the fingers to prevent drying the skin out. Acetone can be extremely drying to skin.

Soak your fingers in the acetone solution for around 20 minutes. After 20 minutes has elapsed, gently try to pry the acrylic nails off. If nails resist removal then re-soak for another 10 minutes. The acetone will help dissolve the glue that binds the fake nails to your real ones.

Take the old tooth brush and dip it into some hand soap. Gently scrub the natural nail to remove flaky glue and scrub on fingers to remove Vaseline. Dry your hands thoroughly then apply cocoa butter or another lotion to add moisture to fingers. Add a cuticle cream to cuticles to keep them healthy. The following day, apply a coat of nail strengthener or clear coat on nails.

How to Remove Acrylic Nails


Understand that frequently wearing acrylic nails long term can interfere with how your natural nails grow. The nail bedding can become pitted overtime. Give your nails a break after removing acrylic nails for a few weeks before having new ones applied.

If you are still having difficulty after attempting to remove acrylic nails then visit the salon that put them on. It’s better to pay a small fee to have them removed instead of damaging your natural nails.

Understand that if you have acrylic nails on your toes then you run a higher risk of developing a nail fungal infection. This is partly due to wearing shoes and moisture breeding fungus in a dark warm environment.


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